- I genuinely enjoy reading the bearded shenanigans of the Oil bloggers, but one thing that somewhat mystifies me is the outrageous hatred they have towards the Ducks, particularly Teemu and Joffrey. This is more hatred than we have seen from the Flames or the Avs, despite the fact that we had three more wins against our previous opponents. The basis? Post-game quotes, such as Teemu's "we were the better team, but beat ourselves" (loosely quoted). Um, since when has anything meaningful come from players' mouths in postgame interviews? Other than Hull or Avery, we just hear the same damn thing over and over again, the same P/R quotes with a different speaker. Why not pick on him for trying to take it "one game at a time" or with "nothing to lose"? These are just as compelling, and just as ordinary. I don't really mind player hatred, mind you, but I think it should be more reserved for someone who beats you. It's not fair that you win and are more annoyed.
- Sorry, Oilboys. One other thing. What I am looking forward to least is the inevitable claim of "How bad we would have beat you except the flu". While I like hypothetical piss contests as much as the next guy, this is silly. It may have been that in managing the flu, the Oil also simplified their game in a way effective against the Ducks. I think these two healthy squads have several potential outcomes, including an Edmonton sweep. But by no means should I accept that that outcome is a given, just based on a flu-induced series with several close outcomes.
- All that said, I would rather lose to the Oil than the Flames or Avs. Particularly the Flames.
- Duck fans deserve their share of criticism also; it is not fair to say that we outplayed the Oil significantly, as that really is measured on wins. I think it is fair to say that we spent a lot of the time as the attacking team, which could explain the at-times penalty discrepancies. However, the Oil's shell was in fact outplaying our 'attack' or whatever we want to call it. We were stymied when we needed goals, bottom line.
- Also, it isn't quite fair to blame refereeing in these games, not in the sense that there weren't bad or questionable calls, but in the sense that these have existed all season and postseason. Make-up calls, in particular (either to a trailing team or to a team behind on power plays), have been particularly obvious since October, so to say that this is now a new phenomenon is absurd. I think a lot of games I have seen this season end up close as a product of 'even-up' refereeing; it is manufactured but seems accepted.
- Ducks PP is mystifyingly bad to me. Even the stretch toward the end of the season where our numbers were very good, I recall a LOT of these goals being scored on the rush, not so many in the instances where we actually set up. It's tough to point out the particular weakness, since generally everything looks pretty good, but I was telling my roommate after the 2nd period last night that the guy we really miss is Sykora. He was a guy who if nothing else was willing to consistently hit the net, a shooter. Maybe of all Burke's moves I feel that the Sykora trade might have been the most hockey-poor one. I should note that our PP was also remarkably horrid in 2003, so it felt normal at least.
- Conference Finals was a good showing for us, in that we were fortunate to have avoided the lot of Detroit, Dallas, and San Jose, three clubs that I think we would have had real trouble surviving. The Colorado series turned out to be a gift-wrapped ticket to the 3rd round (very similar to Minnesota in 2003). Maybe these "gimme" series aren't very good for a playoff team, in that afterwards there is not only rust from the layoff, but also a different sort of rust from not being challenged. In a way, both playoff years involved a stretch of nearly a month between playing 'tough' opposition, and in both cases, we started the next round extremely flat.
- I think Burke is right when he says our kids are getting some extremely valuable playoff experience in playing in both Calgary and Edmonton, two loud and proud places to play.
Takes and trash talk from
both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry
* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!